The Boys: Why Homelander Is More Than Just A Superman Parody

Many of The Boys superheroes are based on characters from DC or Marvel, with Homelander imitating Superman. But it is also a metaphor for something deeper.

Homelander’s similarities to Superman transcend mere parody in Boys. Following the original Garth Ennis comics, Amazon is very popular Boys The adaptation is the perfect antidote to superhero fatigue, filled with clever parallels to more traditional comics. The so-called VCU (Vought Cinamatic Universe) is a crafty takedown from the MCU franchise, while Eagle the Archer is a perfect play on Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye. DC does not escape Boys‘satirical eye either. Season 2 subtly references Joss Whedon League of Justice controversy, and The Seven’s membership is littered with DC analogues. Queen Maeve is clearly Wonder Woman, The Deep is Aquaman before Jason Momoa made it great, and A-Train is The Flash, more or less.

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Maybe the DC /Boys However, the character comparison is Homelander, a warped version of Superman plagued with an uncontrollable Oedipus complex. For starters, both superheroes boast a similar set of powers. They fly, shoot laser vision, have great strength, X-ray vision, and are impervious to virtually all attacks. Just as Superman is often considered a symbol of America (in both DC continuity and real-world pop culture), Homelander is as American as a McDonald’s apple pie, earning the nation’s adulation for his heroics in red, white and blue. . In their respective fictional worlds, Homelander and Superman are the strongest heroes out there, susceptible to only one weakness, be it kryptonite or surrogate pseudo-sexual mother figures.

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Obviously, Homelander is part of Boys‘general mockery of comic book tropes. Both the original material and the Amazon TV show turn into mainstream superheroes, sometimes mercilessly, and the reflection of Superman plays a big part in that. But no version of Boys is single a parody. On a deeper level, Vought and The Seven provide a social commentary on the danger of idolizing public figures, and this is where Homelander’s connection to Superman really comes into play. In modern pop culture, almost a century after his debut, Superman is still considered a bastion of righteousness (just look at the reaction to General Zod’s death in Iron Man). The DC comic continuity has explored, at various points, how public adulation of Superman can be twisted or manipulated, while Batman has considered Superman’s potential for evil, but when all is said and done, Clark Kent always returns to the American archetype. hero. Because it’s Superman.

Homelander is not Superman. Boys It begs the question of what if a superhero with the same immense power and public influence as Krypton’s most famous son were, behind closed doors, rotten to the core. Homelander is a murderer and rapist whose interests don’t extend beyond his own gigantic ego, but because the public loves and fears him (and because he’s financially marketable), the frontman of The Seven gets his way with these. crimes. By evoking Superman’s trademark qualities in such a twisted way, Homelander acts as a metaphor for why public figures should never be placed on a pedestal of unquestionable virtue as DC and Marvel often do.

This theme fits perfectly into two real life Amazon themes. Boys has addressed – Donald Trump and the #MeToo movement. Boys Season 2 makes very little attempt to conceal its criticism of the Trump presidency, with the Homelander / Stormfront rally scene immediately coming to mind. The way Homelander uses his Superman status to generate rabid public support is clearly intended as a critique of Trump, who has often been accused of similar tactics in the political sphere. Regarding #MeToo, Boys addressed the entertainment industry’s emerging sexual assault issue with Starlight in season 1 and Becca Butcher, who felt unable to speak after being raped by Homelander. It is the cult aura that surrounds Vought’s main hero that allows his crimes to go unpunished for so long, and this is sadly a recurring theme of accusations towards actors and directors who have abused their positions of power.

There’s no question that Homelander is a hilarious Superman parody gone wrong. But instead of just playing that comparison for a laugh, Boys uses Superman’s qualities to shed light on problems in the real world, which is why the television adaptation works so well.

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